2022 Outstanding New Principal, Finalists, and School Recipients

The outstanding new principals recognized for 2022

2022 Outstanding New Principal

Ellen Mukai
Brookfield Elementary School, Region 5

ellen mukaiFrom her very first day at Brookfield, Ellen began fostering strong relationships with students, staff, and families and established ways for the community to stay connected during the pandemic. She listened and carefully crafted plans addressing the many needs expressed as students transitioned from virtual to in-person learning. Under Ellen’s leadership, educators are inspired to adopt new practices to improve student outcomes. Brookfield teachers led the charge for concurrent learning, engaged families in fun and creative ways, and adopted student wellness strategies ensuring every Bronco knows they belong. Ellen’s commitment to Brookfield’s community is unwavering, and as one teacher stated, “I look forward to continuing this journey toward student success and wellness with her every day!"

2022 Outstanding New Principal Finalist

Joshua DeSmyter, Principal
Shrevewood Elementary School, Region 2

joshua-desmyterJoshua DeSmyter is a transformative principal and fearless leader. His positive attitude, kindness, intergrity, and contagious energy have transformed Shrevewood Elementary School’s culture into a place where all students and staff are valued and where high quality, equitable learning is a priority in every classroom. His approach to leadership is centered around the school’s core beliefs of: Family, Excellence and Relationships. He believes in supporting staff in leadership development through coaching and collaboration. This is also evident in his creative approach to supporting Shrevewood students with a variety of needs and the many initiatives he has led around MTSS, behavior, wellness and creating a more equitable approach to Advanced Academics.

2022 Outstanding New Principal Finalist

Jamie C Gadley
Dranesville Elementary School, Region 1

jamie gadleySince Jamie joined the Dranesville Elementary School community as principal, her commitment to the mission Dranesville CARES has been evident through her daily interactions with students, staff, and families. She makes connections with members of the school community with such activies such as pen pals with first graders, #tenminute conversations with staff, and monthly meetings with the PTA Board. As a new principal, Jamie has supported and elevated the collaboration among staff to elevate excellence for all students. Jamie’s outstanding leadership reflects the daily intention to nurture connection, access, relationships, excellence, and stakeholder engagement. The impact of her care is evident in the joy and learning taking place at Dranesville ES.

2022 Outstanding New Principal Finalist

Erica Loesch
Saratoga Elementary School, Region 3

erica loesch“Teamwork makes the dream work” defines Erica’s leadership approach. Erica recognizes that each of Saratoga’s stakeholders brings something valuable to the learning community, making her a collaborative and reflective leader. Through the work of collaborative learning teams, students are made promises and are regularly recognized and celebrated for demonstrating growth. Knowing that relationships are at the heart of the work we do, Erica ensures that student and staff strengths and interests are identified, named, and fostered. Erica serves the Saratoga community by deepening relationships, increasing stakeholders’ voices, and refining practices so all can be the best they can be, resulting in providing students with rich opportunities to learn, explore, grow.

2022 Outstanding New Principal Finalist

Linda L. Peace
Keene Mill Elementary School, Region 4

linda peaceLinda has worked diligently to reconnect the Keene Mill School community from day one. She has focused on creating a caring culture and ensuring that students and staff felt safe as they returned to in-person instruction. She greets the students during arrival and spends time with them during unstructured times, such as recess, to hear about what they are learning. Linda instituted a Walk and Talk for the staff to share thoughts and focus on staff wellness. She encourages teachers to share resources, learn from each other, and increase their professional knowledge and efficacy to best serve the students. Linda promotes and works for diversity, equity, and cultural responsiveness by providing professional development and having courageous conversations with staff members.

2022 Outstanding New Principal - School Recipients

  • Clearview Elementary School
    • Stephanie Almquist
  • Columbia Elementary School
    • Mike Astudillo
  • Cub Run Elementary School
    • Natalie Lorenzi
  • Dogwood Elementary School
    • Kate Beckner
  • Fairhill Elementary School
    • Ted Cooper
  • Greenbriar East Elementary School
    • Dave Pietzman
  • Greenbriar West Elementary School
    • Andrew Blount
  • Kilmer Center
    • Hoang Nguyen
  • Ravensworth Elementary School
    • Erika Aspuria
  • Sangster Elementary School
    • Allison Jankovich
  • South County Middle School
    • Peter Kownacki
  • Stenwood Elementary School
    • Erica Riley
  • Timber Lane Elementary School
    • Benjamin Chiet
  • Westlawn Elementary School
    • Christoph Hill

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